Periodontists – Your Gum Specialist Doctors
Written by Torrey Hills Dental
There are several different types of dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association. Periodontists are one of them, as are orthodontists, endodontists, pedodontists, etc. But what does a periodontist do? If you’ve ever struggled with chronic gum disease (also called periodontitis or periodontal disease) your dentist may recommend seeing a Carmel Valley periodontist.
Who is a Periodontist?
Periodontists complete an additional 2-3 years of formal education after their required four years of dental school. They spend their post-doctoral studies specializing in care related to periodontal structures, that is, the anatomical areas surrounding the roots of teeth. Such as your gums (gingiva) and underlying bone.
Periodontists are to gum health what orthodontists are to braces and oral surgeons are to wisdom teeth. You rely on healthy gums to preserve your smile, so if you have chronic periodontal disease, you’ll more than likely need to see a Carmel Valley periodontist.
What do Periodontists Do?
What are some of the reasons you may need to see a periodontist? Here are just a few examples of what periodontists do:
Treatment for Gum Disease: As you might guess, periodontists are experts in treating periodontal disease. When flap surgery is required, or your dentist doesn’t have specialized equipment for extremely deep gum pockets, a periodontist will. Deep cleanings (scaling and root planing or periodontal therapy) can be performed alongside surgical techniques to preserve natural teeth as long as possible. At that point, periodontists typically place patients on a periodontal maintenance program with their general dentist and hygienist.
How long does periodontal maintenance take to complete? As long as needed. Most people with chronic gum disease will stay on a periodontal maintenance regimen for their life. These recurring therapeutic cleanings help prevent complete relapse of their oral infection, lowering their chances of tooth loss in the future.
Gum Grafting and Soft Tissue Surgery: Soft tissue grafting and tissue augmentation, including crown lengthening and pocket reduction surgery, help stabilize the health of severely at-risk teeth. Because tissue detachment and recession can lead to sensitivity or an increase in tooth decay, periodontists may adjust your soft tissues or add a graft over exposed tooth surfaces.
Bone Grafting: If you’ve experienced severe gum disease and/or tooth loss, you’ve likely lost bone density in those areas of your mouth as well. Lack of bone support can cause changes in your facial characteristics, making it difficult to support teeth or dental implants. Bone grafting is usually performed alongside other periodontal therapies to aid in tooth retention or future implant placement.
Dental Implant Placement: Periodontists are experts when it comes to installing dental implants in Carmel Valley. If you require advanced implant services because of extensive bone loss or unique oral anatomy, periodontists have extra training and resources to perform more specialized dental implant installation.
How to Find a Good Periodontist
The majority of periodontal procedures—like gum disease therapy and dental implants—are typically provided by your Carmel Valley general dentist. However, if you require advanced surgeries or specialized care to prevent tooth loss, you may need a referral to a periodontist in Carmel Valley. The best option is to talk to your dentist personally about whom they trust and arrange for a referral or find out if the specialist visits their practice on certain days each month.
Why Does Gum Health Matter?
Gum disease doesn’t just lead to tooth mobility and loss. It also affects your overall wellness, predisposing you to a greater chance of serious systemic conditions (such as heart disease, diabetes, pneumonia, infertility, and more.) By improving your oral wellness through periodontal therapy—and removing infectious bacteria from your mouth—you can jump-start your immune system for better overall health.
Periodontal Treatment in Carmel Valley
If you need periodontal treatment in Carmel Valley, we encourage you to call Torrey Hills Dental. Whether you’re struggling with tooth mobility and at risk of tooth loss or are planning to get dental implants, our highly experienced oral health team can help.
Call us today to request a no-obligation consultation.